Four Washington State residents have filed separate lawsuits against e-cigarette manufacturers claiming they suffered injuries from e-cigarette battery explosions. According to a news report in the Seattle Press Intelligencer, the plaintiffs from Seattle, Kelso, Vancouver and Spokane, each suffered severe burn injuries when the lithium-ion batteries in their e-cigarette exploded. The e-cigarettes in each of these cases contained lithium-ion batteries, the same type connected to exploding hover boards and Samsung Galaxy phones, both of which has spurred recalls.
Marketed as “Safe”
The battery-powered smoking devices are marketed and sold as safer alternatives to conventional cigarettes, particularly to help people quit smoking. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already questioned that approach and has alerted consumers that these products still contain harmful nicotine and other toxic chemicals including carcinogens.
However, what has been putting e-cigarettes in the news is the number of explosions caused by the lithium-ion batteries. The most recent lawsuits allege that while lithium-ion batteries have an inherent risk of fire and explosion, that danger is dramatically increased when combined with an e-cigarette’s heating element and cylindrical shape. The lack of regulation and proper testing requirements leave the quality of these batteries and products up to e-cigarette manufacturers.
Examples of Severe Injuries
Here are a few examples of injuries suffered by consumers based on the lawsuits filed. A 40-year-old welder in a shipyard in Seattle was walking from his car to work when his e-cigarette exploded in his pants pocket causing serious burns to his right thigh, which later became infected and required multiple treatments at the hospital. A 23-year-old man whose e-cig exploded in his face causing him to undergo emergency oral surgery involving multiple surgeries to correct damage to his mouth and teeth.
A 19-year-old man suffered burn injuries to his right thigh after the device exploded in his pants pocket and he required skin-graft procedures. A 45-year-old Spokane woman suffered severe injuries to her mouth, face, neck and chest after the e-cig exploded in her face while in use. Burn centers around the country are reporting an increase in the incidence of these types of explosions and burn injuries. Many of them have reported suffering “blast injuries” and even chemical injuries from alkaline substance in the batteries. Others have exhibited “traumatic tattooing,” which is how medical experts describe foreign particles getting embedded in a person’s skin.
Justice for Victims
If you have suffered injuries as a result of exploding e-cigarette lithium-ion batteries, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the at-fault parties for your damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of surgical treatments, permanent injuries and pain and suffering. An experienced product defect attorney who has successfully handled similar cases will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.